A. Bitoni Fan
DeAndre Daniels / Toronto Raptors: +ive feedback?
Some positive comments regarding the NBL experience by 'Dre and the Raps:
Although Daniels was halfway across the world, he used the time away from everything he was familiar with to learn how to fend for himself.
"I loved Australia," Daniels said. “It was a great learning experience going out there by myself. Australia was great, the organization was great, playing for the Perth Wildcats, I loved it. [I] got better, worked on my game, gained some weight and met a lot of good people.”
The Raptors didn't have a roster spot for Daniels last season, but they stayed in close contact with him. Director of scouting Dan Tolzman said the team sent members of its staff over to see him at various points during the year.
Describing the league Daniels played in as “on the come up,” Tolzman mentioned there were players on NBA rosters last season who had spent the previous year playing in the Australian league. For Daniels, the team looked at his season in Perth as another step in his development similar to an additional year of college.
“From the front office standpoint, we were in touch with his agent all of the time, always keeping tabs on him and monitoring, letting both him and his representation know that he’s a part of our system,” Tolzman said. “We didn’t send him literally halfway across the world to not care about him. We put him in a spot that we thought was a good fit for him and a place he could really develop.”
While the Australian league wasn’t on the same tier as the top teams in Spain or Italy, it was an ideal place for Daniels to hone his skills.
“I think the biggest thing is just getting used to the physicality of pro basketball,” Tolzman said. “High level college basketball is good, but when you are playing with grown men that are bigger and stronger, you just get used to the hits and the speed of the game. I think spending a year in Australia really helped him kind of get used to the different positions he will be playing at our level and just learning to take those hits and play through them.”